In Matthew 24 Jesus is prophesying about the destruction of Jerusalem. This is well accepted among Christians. Nevertheless, what some have missed, is that Jesus is also is prophesying about the end times, and the time before His second coming.
Matthew 24 and end time prophecy
Let’s read Matthew 24:1-3:
“Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, ‘when will these things be?’: And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Did you catch it? The disciples are coming to Jesus, asking two questions:
- “Tell us, ‘when will these things be?’”, referring to what Jesus had just said: “not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down”.
- “What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
While the first question is about when the temple and Jerusalem would be destroyed, the second question is dealing with Jesus coming, and “the end of the age”. We all know that Jesus has not come back yet, and we are still living in this world.
Thus, this chapter is highly applicable to us today.
Let’s look at some bible commentaries on these Bible verses:
Albert Barnes on Matthew 24
“To these questions He replies in this and the following chapters. This He does, not by noticing them distinctly, but by intermingling the descriptions of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the end of the world, so that it is sometimes difficult to tell to what particular subject his remarks apply. The principle on which this combined description of two events was spoken appears to be, that “they could be described in the same words,” and therefore the accounts are intermingled. A similar use of language is found in some parts of Isaiah, where the same language will describe the return from the Babylonian captivity, and deliverance by the Messiah.”– Albert Barnes, Notes on the Whole Bible
Charles Spurgeon on Matthew 24
“The little procession continued ascending the mount of Olives until Jesus reached a resting-place from which he could see the temple. (#Mr 3:3) There he sat down, and the disciples came unto him privately, saying, “Tell us, uhen shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” These are the questions that have been asked in every age since our Savior’s day. There are here two distinct questions, perhaps three. The disciples enquired first about the time of the destruction of the temple, and then about the sign of Christ’s coming, and of “the consummation of the age” (R. V. margin).
The answers of Jesus contained much that was mysterious, and that could only be fully understood as that which he fore told actually occurred. He told his disciples some things which related to the siege of Jerusalem, some which concerned his Second Advent, and some which would immediately precede “the end of the world.” When we have clearer light, we may possibly perceive that all our Savior’s predictions on this memorable occasion had some connection with all three of these great events.”– Charles H. Spurgeon’s Exposition of Matthew 24, from his Popular Exposition of Matthew
Ellen White on Matthew 24
“Christ forewarned His disciples of the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs to take place prior to the coming of the Son of man. The whole of the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew is a prophecy concerning the events to precede this event, and the destruction of Jerusalem is used to typify the last great destruction of the world by fire.”– Ellen G. White, Last Day Events, p. 18
So, is Matthew 24 talking about end time prophecies?
It is very clear that what Jesus did in Matthew 24, was answering both questions at the same time (See also Luke 21 and Mark 13). For Christians who are just discovering this, it will be a great study!
Matthew 24 is a chapter that is very relevant for Christians today. It helps us see where we are on the prophecy timeline. In fact, it shows us that we are living right before Jesus second coming, just like other prophecies are telling us.
Jesus said: ”Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)